Free Practice 1
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:24.220
- Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:24.803 – +0.583
- Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:24.886 – +0.666
- Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:25.246 – +1.026
- Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:25.372 – +1.152
- Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:25.464 – +1.244
- Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:26.142 – +1.922
- Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:26.168 – +1.948
- Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:26.183 – +1.963
- Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:26.276 – +2.056
Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in the opening practice session of 2017, beating new team-mate Valtteri Bottas by half a second. Daniel Ricciardo was third for Red Bull. Mercedes were the only team to use the Ultrasoft tyres.
Free Practice 2
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:23.620
- Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:24.167 – +0.547
- Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:24.176 – +0.556
- Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:24.525 – +0.905
- Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:24.650 – +1.030
- Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:25.013 – +1.393
- Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:25.084 – +1.464
- Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:25.436 – +1.816
- Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:25.478 – +1.858
- Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:25.493 – +1.873
Lewis Hamilton maintained his five tenths advantage but this time it was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in second. Valtteri Bottas ended the session in third. Jolyon Palmer brought out red flags by crashing at the final corner in the first half of the session. Marcus Ericsson and Max Verstappen also had off track excursions while Felipe Massa’s Williams stopped out on track.
Free Practice 3
- Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:23.380
- Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:23.859 – +0.479
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:23.870 – +0.490
- Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:23.988 – +0.608
- Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:25.063 – +1.683
- Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:25.092 – +1.712
- Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:25.581 – +2.201
- Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:25.948 – +2.568
- Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:26.049 – +2.669
- Kevin Magnussen – Haas – 1:26.138 – +2.758
Sebastian Vettel seized the advantage in the third and final practice session. The Ferrari driver broke the lap record, going four tenths faster than Valtteri Bottas. Antonio Giovinazzi was a last minute replacement at Sauber with Pascal Wehrlein withdrawing from the remainder of the weekend.
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:22.188
- Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:22.456
- Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:22.481
- Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:23.033
- Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:23.485
- Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:24.074
- Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:24.443
- Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:24.487
- Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:24.512
- Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – No Time Set
Lewis Hamilton secured the first pole position of the season with a lap-time nearly three tenths faster than Sebastian Vettel. Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen, Stoffel Vandoorne, Lance Stroll and Jolyon Palmer dropped out in Q1 – from 16th to 20th respectively. Sergio Perez narrowly missed out on a spot in Q3 out-qualifying former team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Marcus Ericsson. There was disappointment for local hero Daniel Ricciardo in Q3 who crashed out leading to a subsequent five place grid penalty for a new gearbox. Hamilton was fastest having already secured provisional pole. Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Carlos Sainz, and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten.
- Sebastian Vettel
- Lewis Hamilton
- Valtteri Bottas
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Max Verstappen
- Felipe Massa
- Sergio Perez
- Carlos Sainz
- Daniil Kvyat
- Esteban Ocon
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Antonio Giovinazzi
- Stoffel Vandoorne
Sebastian Vettel took his first victory since 2015, beating pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ new recruit Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton kept in front when the lights went out but was unable to drop Vettel. It was the Ferrari driver who took the lead when he stayed out longer before making his first pit stop. Eventually Vettel’s advantage was nine seconds as he crossed the line to win with Mercedes unable to fight back. Hamilton finished second ahead of Bottas who had a late charge. Kimi Raikkonen was a distant fourth for Ferrari with Max Verstappen fifth and Felipe Massa sixth. Massa was the last of the unlapped runners with Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, and Daniil Kvyat seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. Esteban Ocon was the tenth and final points scorer.
Nico Hulkenberg finished 11th ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and Stoffel Vandoorne who was the last finisher. Fernando Alonso retired with suspension issues on the 50th lap having run in a points paying position for a lot of the race in tenth. Kevin Magnussen retired having had an eventful race which started with a collision with Marcus Ericsson. Lance Stroll’s F1 debut came to a premature end after 40 laps with Daniel Ricciardo also retiring having started the race from the pit-lane a couple of laps down. Marcus Ericsson, Jolyon Palmer, and Romain Grosjean also retired.
Lewis Hamilton has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but it was not enough to prevent Nico Rosberg becoming world champion.
Rosberg held off a late charge from Sebastian Vettel – who finished third – to become 2016 world champion. Hamilton backed his team-mate into the chasing pack, despite numerous calls from the pit wall to pick up his pace, but Rosberg was able to remain in second place. He crossed the line just four tenths off his team-mate with Vettel just four tenths further back on him.
Max Verstappen recovered from a lap one spin to make a different strategy work to finish in fourth, ahead of his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. Kimi Raikkonen was a distant sixth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Felipe Massa ended his F1 career with two points ahead of Fernando Alonso who finished in tenth.
Romain Grosjean finished in 11th place ahead of team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, Esteban Ocon, and Pascal Wehrlein. Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr and a penalised Jolyon Palmer were the remaining finishers. Palmer was given a five second time penalty for crashing into Carlos Sainz and ending his race.
Joining Sainz on the sidelines were team-mate Daniil Kvyat, Valtteri Bottas, and Kevin Magnussen. Jenson Button suffered disappointment on his last Grand Prix appearance when his front suspension broke, bringing a premature end to his race.
At the front, defiant Hamilton backed his team-mate into the chasing pack but Rosberg withstood the pressure and finished where he needed to to become world champion. It is 34 years since his father Keke Rosberg won the world championship and they become one of only two father-son world champions. The other father-son world champions are of course Graham and Damon Hill.
After 20 races, the championship will be decided at the final round in Abu Dhabi. The race at the Yas Marina Circuit will see Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg go head-to-head for the 2016 title.
Rosberg is the driver with the advantage holding a 12 point lead over team-mate Hamilton. This means that reigning champion Hamilton must finish in the top three to win the championship, but even at that it will still be in Rosberg’s hands. If Hamilton wins the race Rosberg must be third to be champion. If Hamilton is second then Rosberg can finish any position down to 6th and if Hamilton is third then Rosberg can finish no lower than eighth.
Circuit: Yas Marina Circuit
Number of Laps: 55
Circuit Length: 5.554km
Number of Corners: 21
Lap Record: 1:40.279 Sebastian Vettel (2009)
Previous Brazil winners still on the grid: 4
Most Successful Team: Red Bull (3)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Soft, Supersoft, and Ultrasoft
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a day to night race which starts at twilight and ends under the lights. It is a circuit which features a mix of long straights, heavy braking zones, and fast and slow corners. The three sectors are very distinct and overtaking is possible. There are two DRS zones and grip levels are medium. Track temperatures drop during the race due to conditions going from day to night.
Rosberg won the race in 2015 but suffered heartbreak in 2014 when his car suffered mechanical issues when he was fighting for the championship. Hamilton has won the race in 2011 and 2014, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen winning the four other runnings of the Abu Dhabi GP.
This weekend will also mark the end of Felipe Massa’s F1 career as he retires. Jenson Button had been set to take a sabbatical, with a possible return to race in 2018, however he has recently said he is treating this weekend like his last Grand Prix. Between them they have entered 558 Grand Prix – Button is the third most experienced F1 driver of all time. They will both be missed in the F1 paddock and will be hoping for a good race to sign off their careers.
Two red flags and several safety cars disrupted the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, but they didn’t prevent Lewis Hamilton taking his ninth win of the season. His first victory in Brazil couldn’t have come at a better time as he prevented Nico Rosberg from wrapping up the championship.
Treacherous conditions greeted teams and drivers on Sunday and the FIA took the decision to start the race behind the safety car. Romain Grosjean became the first driver to get caught out by aquaplaning as he spun on his reconnaissance lap on the way to the grid. The race start was also delayed by ten minutes.
The race eventually concluded three hours after it started with Hamilton crossing the line 11 seconds clear of Rosberg. Max Verstappen was driver of the day as he recovered from a late spin to climb back up the order to third. Sergio Perez was fourth ahead of another spinner Sebastian Vettel. Carlos Sainz was sixth with Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo seventh and eighth.
Local driver Felipe Nasr started last on the grid but finished in ninth place ahead of Fernando Alonso in tenth. Alonso was another driver who spun during the race but recovered to score a point.
Valtteri Bottas was 11th ahead of Esteban Ocon, Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen and Pascal Wehrlein. Jenson Button struggled throughout the race with the handling of his McLaren and was the last of 16th classified finishers.
Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, and Marcus Ericsson joined Grosjean on the sidelines after getting caught out by the conditions – their cars being sent into spins by aquaplaning and into the barrier. Jolyon Palmer cited poor visibility for his race ending accident when he made contact with Kvyat who continued. Esteban Gutierrez retired with car problems.
It was a disappointing end to his last Grand Prix for Massa who retired during the race. He was clearly emotional as he climbed out of his car after hitting the barrier, raising the Brazilian flag above his head. There were extraordinary scenes in the pit-lane as Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams congregated outside their garages to give him a guard of honour while the race was still happening. Massa was greeted by his family as he walked down the pit-lane. He later described the moment as overwhelming but said the reaction from the fans made him proud.
The championship will conclude in Abu Dhabi.